Social Work Juvenile Justice
Lisa Rapp-Paglicci
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0038


The topic of juvenile justice is expansive, and multiple fields, such as social work, criminology, psychology, law, and education, are engaged in its study, policies, and practice. This entry focuses on social work’s perspective of juvenile justice but does include other fields. Several components are included under the umbrella of juvenile justice, such as the juvenile justice system (courts, probation, sanctions, and so forth); the juvenile offender; demographics, theories about delinquency, and so forth; intervention (empirically based prevention, intervention, programs, and so forth); and policies (laws and rules pertinent to juveniles in both the juvenile and the criminal justice systems). In addition, numerous subspecialties are encompassed under the umbrella of juvenile justice, such as sexual offenders, child maltreatment, family violence, school bullying and violence, the death penalty, substance abuse, violent offenders, racial inequities, female offenders, mentally ill juvenile offenders, and gangs. Regrettably, this bibliography cannot cover all of these topics; however, it will include resources on the juvenile court, juvenile gangs, female juvenile offenders, race and juvenile justice, and treatment and prevention.

Introductory Works

The works listed here represent authors who are considered experts in the field. To garner information regarding corrections, courts, and prevalence, begin reading the reports in Sickmund 2003, Sickmund 2004, and Snyder, et al. 2003, all of which are availiable from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Gottfredson 2001 looks at schools and delinquency, whereas the OJJDP provides the latest reports on the juvenile justice system and demographics. Rapp-Paglicci, et al. 2002 provides readers with information on violence in multiple locations, but Roberts 2004 is a good choice for the reader looking to learn about a variety of aspects of juvenile justice in one book. A comprehensive international viewpoint is given in Junger-Tas and Decker 2008, whereas Martin 2005 provides a solid historical perspective.

  • Gottfredson, Denise C. 2001. Schools and delinquency. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    The foremost authority on delinquency and school crime, Gottfredson links theory and empirical evidence to design school-based prevention programs.

  • Junger-Tas, Josine, and Scott H. Decker, eds. 2008. International handbook of juvenile justice. New York: Springer.

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    Includes comprehensive research compiled for over nineteen different countries, focusing on recent trends in the area of juvenile justice.

  • Martin, Gus. 2005. Juvenile justice: Process and systems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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    Includes information regarding history, systems, theories, assessment, community responses, and global perspectives.

  • Rapp-Paglicci, Lisa A., Albert R. Roberts, and John S. Wodarski, eds. 2002. Handbook of violence. New York: John Wiley.

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    Covers community, gang, school, and girls’ violence.

  • Roberts, Albert R., ed. 2004. Juvenile justice sourcebook: Past, present, and future. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Expounds on the history of the juvenile justice system and explains how the system works. Also discusses research and innovative treatment programs.

  • Sickmund, Melissa. 2003. Juveniles in court. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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    Provides information about the US juvenile court system. The confusing juvenile court system is outlined, and its processes are delineated for the reader.

  • Sickmund, Melissa. 2004. Juveniles in corrections. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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    Elaborates on early 21st-century statistics and the status of corrections for juveniles in the United States. The corrections system is explained and thoroughly evaluated.

  • Snyder, Howard N., Rachele Espiritu, David Huizinga, Rolf Loeber, and David Petechuk. 2003. Prevalence and development of child delinquency. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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    Explicates the demographics of juvenile offending and the developmental process of offending.

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